Paris attacks probe widens after capture of suspect

A Belgian prosecutor says authorities do not know the "exact path" taken by suspect Salah Abdeslam after he fled the scene of the deadly attacks on Paris in November.

Prosecutors hope to map out Salah Abdeslam's route as he fled after Paris on Nov. 13

Police at the scene of a security operation in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek in Brussels, Belgium, March 18, 2016. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

A Belgian prosecutor says authorities do not know the "exact path" taken by suspect Salah Abdeslam after he fled the scene of the deadly attacks on Paris in November.

Abdeslam, 26, was arrested in Brussels on Friday after four months on the run.

Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw told reporters in Brussels on Monday that investigators hope to find out details about Abdeslam's actions between the Nov. 13 attacks and his arrest "if he decides to tell us."

Abdeslam slipped through police fingers on multiple occasions, including the day after the attacks. He was found living 500 metres from his childhood home.

Salah Abdeslam, 26, is a childhood friend of the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks and is suspected of driving a car carrying a group of gunmen who took part in the attacks. (Belgian Federal Police/Associated Press)

French President Francois Hollande and other French officials were scheduled to meet with Paris attacks victims' associations later Monday in Paris.

Hollande had been needled by criticism from some victims for a refusal to meet with the associations. Some of the groups — which represent the 130 victims of the attacks, their families and survivors — are lobbying the French government to shift from what they consider a security-focused approach to fighting terror.

The groups, predicting more attacks, want the government to have a more co-ordinated system to help victims of terrorism in the immediate aftermath of attacks and over the long term.

Some have lamented chaotic conditions on Nov. 13 and in the following days, when family members struggled to find out if their loved ones were dead or alive, and where they were.

In Brussels, Belgian prosecutors are appealing to the public for information about a man who allegedly traveled to Hungary last year with the top suspect in the Paris attacks.

The federal prosecutor's office said in a statement Monday that they are seeking details about 24-year-old Najim Laachraoui, who is said to have traveled to Syria in February 2013.

It said Laachraoui was checked by guards at the Austria-Hungary border while driving in a Mercedes with attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Laachraoui is said to have rented a house under the name of Soufiane Kayal in the Belgian town of Auvelais which was allegedly used as a safe house. Prosecutors said traces of his DNA were found there.


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